Son and Heir? In Britain, Daughters Cry No Fair (NYT) : Though the law of primogeniture seems antiquated, it still exists inEngland’s rigid society. The article is an interesting read for the discussion alone but I loved the interview with Liza Campbell. Campbell wrote one of my favorite memoirs, A Charmed Life: Growing Up in Macbeth’s Castle.
Seven Summer Reds (LE) : Lisa Eldridge will always top my list of the most beautiful women in the world. Lucky for the rest of us, she shares her makeup tips weekly on her blog. This week’s offering was a guide to summer red lipsticks. I dare you to read it without opening your wallet.
Mindful (Mindful Magazine): I’m the first to admit that meditation is not my thing — sitting still chanting om sounds awful. That being said with the growing reliance on technology and constant connectedness it can be difficult to take a moment to simply be. Check out this article for the basics.
Call the Midwife: I’m still making my way through this delightful book. Since I’m listening to it, progress is slower than I would like but there’s nothing like a British accent reading to you!
The Ultimate List of Fictional Boyfriends : Since rewatching Dawson’s Creek last summer I’ve had an unnatural obsession with Pacey Witter. I’m glad I’m not the only one.
Free Breakfasts in Texas Public Schools : Perhaps it’s because I know two people working with TFA in Texas but this article was really eye-opening. For more information I highly recommend my friend Mallory’s blog.
No Signature Required: An interesting little article about how the advent of technology has affect signatures and how we verify our identity.
21 to Drink Coffee? : The FDA has started looking into the effect of caffeine on a young brain. Though I heard about how caffeine is a drug all through high school, it never occurred to me that it could be regulated. I’m interested in where this movement is headed…
Amazon to Sell Fanfiction: This is the strangest development in publishing yet — and that’s saying something. The best thing about fanfiction is the ability to access hundreds of stories at a time for free. I wonder how this will change the fandoms.
The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory
Coincidentally, I had already started listening to this audiobook when the bones of Richard III were discovered. To be honest, I didn’t even realize that the Richard in Gregory’s book was that Richard until I read this article!
Even without the connection to recent events, Gregory’s book is an interesting portrayal of the oft demonized king. She turns the suspicion of his guilt on its head and makes him into a highly sympathetic character. By the end of the book I was rooting for Richard and the Plantagenets!
If you’re looking for more historical fiction check out my reviews of Above All Things, City of Women and The Pleasures of Men. For more Philippa Gregory try The Other Boleyn Girl. Made into a movie starring Scarlett Johanson and Natalie Portman, this book details Henry VIII’s relationship with Anne Boleyn’s lesser-known sister Mary. It provides an interesting look into the politics of Tudor England!
State of the Union
Less of a news article and more of an event, I loved watching and reading the State of the Union address. In following the speech online, I was astounded by the power of social media. The discussions showed a level of political debate usually reserved for the classroom!
Immersed in Stories: From Binge-Watching to Marathon Reading
I love this take on how much our culture loves a good marathon! Though marathons are generally thought of in terms of television (think Law & Order: SVU), the author also considers reading marathons. I think I’d like to take on a good day of reading, what about you?
3 Steps to Defining Your Personal Brand: I’ve been thinking a lot about what I will do after graduation and this article was the perfect inspiration to start re-working my personal brand. Of course it’s all easier said than done but by starting early I hope I’ll get ahead in the long run.
20 Odd Questions with Stephanie von Watzdorf: I don’t know what is better, that her name reminds me of my beloved Blair Waldorf or that she was the daughter of an art dealer and a ballet dancer – so glamourous! “My favorite stationery is Terrapin by Ted Harrington [and his mother, Cathy]. Ted is great and his work has a little tongue-in-cheek humor to it.”
Of course the article above led me to the lovely stationery store where I found some adorable notecards, check them out here and here.
Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible by Tim Gunn
This was a jauntily-paced look at the history of fashion with a few tips thrown in. If you’re looking for a “what to wear” guide, this is NOT it (try this instead). However, if you’re looking for a thrilling look at why we wear the clothing we do, head to the library and check this out right away.
Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
*note: this title will be released on March 12, 2012.
I was so excited for this book because of its connection to fairytale lore without being overdone (Footnote: It’s retelling of the story of Bluebeard. ) — I’m looking at you retellings of Cinderella! Strands of Bronze and Gold had a lot of promise with its strong female heroine and 19th c. setting but I found myself distracted at times by the references to other works. At one point Sophia receives a letter “Dear Miss Petheram, In vain I have struggled…” which is strikingly similar to Mr. Darcy’s letter in Pride and Prejudice “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
Similarly, when Sophia and Monsieur Bernard de Cressac are to be married, he suggests taking their honeymoon in Barbados, which seems entirely too similar to Mr. Rochester’s actions with the mad woman in the attic (Jane Eyre or Wide Sargasso Sea). Though I love a veiled reference to works that have gone before, especially in historical fiction, I found these a little heavy-handed and distracting. All of that being said I think it would make an excellent addition to a YA collection, since teens probably aren’t as picky about their classical references as I am!